Iron Detective!


What does Iron look like?

Like this? Like this?   Like this?

Yes to all of them! Iron is an element on the periodic table and comes in many forms!  Iron is even in the food you eat! Meat, Fish, Poultry, Beans have iron naturally, but iron is also added to other foods like flour, cereal, baby formula and juice!


  • Make sure you have an adult helping you.


  • Total Cereal or any cereal with lots of iron
  • Magnet


  1. Take a handful of cereal over a bowl and crush it up using your hands.  The finer you crush it, the better!  If you need to use the bottom of a cup to crush it, that can help.
  2. Take the magnet and pass it over the crushed up cereal.  It should attract some fine black powder - that black powder is IRON METAL that is in your cereal!


  • How much iron did you get out?
  • Does it matter how much cereal you start with?
  • Do different cereals have different amounts of iron?

What's Happening?!?

Iron is added to many different foods because it is an essential mineral for your body.  About 60% of the iron in your body is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the places in your body that use oxygen - muscles, tissues, etc. It also carries the carbon dioxide back from your muscles and tissue.  If you don't have enough iron in your blood, you can become very tired, because there isn't enough oxygen - kind of like trying to run a marathon at the top of Pikes Peak! Phew - too hard!

Iron is magnetic, so when you pass the magnet over the cereal, you can collect tiny bits of iron that you couldn't even see before because they were so small! 

Have questions?  email us!



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